Thursday, November 24, 2016

Hebrews 3:16–19

16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Vs. 16 In drawing it's warning for us all from the Israelite's whom Moses led out of Egypt, the Holy Scripture pulls no punches when describing them here. Notice then the tone of words that is used to describe them. Rebelled (vs. 16), sinned (vs. 17), disobedient (vs. 18), concluding with unbelief (vs. 19). Now their rebellion was not just against Moses, but their rebellion was directed against God Himself, for that is how the Holy Scripture views their actions (see Num. 14:11). And so just as they rejected the Lord, so He rejected and disinherited everyone of them, and thus He none of those who did so ever entered the Promised Land (see Num. 14:26-38; Psalm 119:118). Therefore in recalling what they did, and what happened to them when they did, the Holy Scripture is warning us all, so that no one who is now in the assembly of the Lord deceives themselves into thinking they can be justified by the cross of Christ if they likewise do so (consider Matt. 7:23). For as we are clearly warned, it is because of these things that the wrath of God is coming on the children of disobedience (Eph 3:5-7; Col 3:5-6). Therefore we are not to be partakers with anyone in anything that is rebellion against, or disobedience towards the Lord Jesus Christ and His commandments. For we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ have not only all our sins and transgressions atoned for and forgiven, (and thus thanksgiving and gratitude should now mark our persons), but we have also died with Christ, been buried with Christ, and risen to a new life with Jesus Christ as Lord of us all who believe in Him, and so whatever we once were we no longer are (2 Cor 5:17), and thus we are to live out this new life with Christ and each other in all grace and truth, and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them (Rom 6; Eph. 5:11). For we are not even to eat with any person claiming faith in the Lord Jesus Christ yet who is knowingly sinning against the Lord (1 Cor 5:11-13). For those who know the truth and yet continue to do so are only showing themselves as to have hardened themselves to Lord and His will for us all, which is our individual, as well as our collective sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3-8). Therefore those who are now seeking too "normalize" homosexual depravity, which is and has always been an abomination in the eyes of the Lord (Lev. 18:22; Rom 1:18-32), have only aligned themselves with Satan and his agenda in trying to normalize it in the social conscience so as to pave the way for the rise of the antichrist, as sinners reach their fullness (Dan. 8:23; 11:37; 2 Thess. 2:5-12). Therefore the Gospel of God, and the grace of God that comes to us all who believe in God through it, does not change the moral standards of God. Therefore we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are sojourners and strangers in this world, and now too this world, (John 15:18-25), and so we are to reject all who claim faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and yet in their own rebellion against God are practicing and or justifying whatever forms of wickedness or ungodliness or licentiousness that they do (antithesis 1 Tim 1:12-17). Therefore we who believe in God through Christ Jesus the Lord are to uphold His commandments and live by them (Jude 3-4), and not follow the degenerating "morals" of this world (1 Thess. 4:3-7; Titus 3:10-11) which will keep lowering the bar until nothing is off limits. 

Vs. 17 "Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?"

Again God's anger fell on those who sinned, who in their rebellion against and rejection of the Word of the Lord spoken to them, not only sinned against it (by making the golden calf, then their practicing harlotry with Baal of Peor and the women of Moab, as well as their loathing of God's manna provisions for them, and of course their ongoing complaining and at times open rebellion against Moses leadership etc.) and so in their ongoing sin and rebellion against God they only became perceptual complainers and dissenters, and thus throughout their forty years in the wilderness some would be taken here and some there until that entire generation who initially refused to enter the Promised Land (except Joshua and Caleb) perished in the wilderness. 

Vs. 18 "And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?"

From their initial rebellion to their ongoing disobedience the wilderness wandering Israelite's were a people whom God Himself swore in His wrath that they would not enter his rest (Num. 14:26-35). 

Vs. 19 "So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."

At the heart of their rebellion and sin and disobedience was their unbelief. Unbelief in refusing to believe that God could bring them into the Promised Land and later their unbelief that God could provide for them while they were there. They simply were a people who not believe God in spite of all the mighty signs and wonders and works that He did in delivering them from the Egyptians, as well as delivering them out of all their troubles in the Wilderness, and these He did right before their own eyes! Now they are not unique because there are people today in the assembly of the Lord who likewise will hear God's Word and see God's mighty works being done through His people around the world and yet they too will not believe! And that is something that we all need to beware of so that we do not let ourselves become hardened to the truth, or cynical, or disobedient, or unbelieving, for when that happens to anyone they too risk not entering Christ's Rest! For to begin a journey with Christ and not finish it is the greatest tragedy that can happen to anyone. And that is what the Holy Scripture is warning us all here, not to become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, or be overtaken by unbelief, or give in to voices of skepticism and doubt, but rather believe and live by faith day by day, everyday, until the Lord Jesus Christ comes and takes us all all home into the Promised Land.

Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982.

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